Gaining a regular season sweep of Canisius hasn't been easy in recent seasons. Monday night, Park defeated the Cruaders for the second time this season, 64-42, on the Pioneers' Senior Night.
Noah Hutchins one of four seniors for Park, ranked No. 1 among Western New York large school, led the victory with 28 points and 11 assists. The other Park seniors are Jai'den Dunn, Quentin Nnagbo and Harrison Abramaitys.
Park came out strong and opened a 20-10 first-quarter lead and built the margin to 23 by halftime.
"Our team defense was the key," said Park coach Rick Jacob. "We changed defenses because they are so explosive and athletic. We were able to contain their best players."
Junior Dewayne Vass led Canisius with 14 points.
Park will play a nonleague game at undefeated Cardinal O'Hara, the No. 1 ranked WNY small school, on Wednesday night in what should be one of the highlight games of the regular season in the area.
Abaya's block saves North
Jonathan Abaya's blocked shot with 1.5 seconds left saved Williamsville North's 51-49 ECIC I victory over Frontier, setting up Tuesday night's showdown for the Spartans at Clarence to decide the division title.
North had taken the lead on a pair of free throws by Brent Swiech. After a couple of exchanges, Frontier set up a play for Brandon Dunz, but Abaya was there to reject it.
"Jon had only three points but he had six rebounds and five blocks in the game," said North coach Chuck Swierski. "In our 18 games he blocked 87 shots, but none was bigger than this one. It was the key play."
Swiech had 15 points for the Spartans and Jason Belote, playing after missing a week of practice with an injury, had 14 points. Dunz led Frontier with 14 points.
North (9-2 ECIC I) and Clarence (8-1) will play their makeup game Tuesday night. Clarence won the first meeting at North.
ECIC III race is real close
If Cheektowaga wins at Iroquois on Friday, there is a possibility of a three-way tie for the ECIC III boys basketball championship. Armondez Cleague led the Warriors with 20 points in a 72-61 triumph over Lake Shore. Nevada Eldridge had 19 points each for the winners.
"Cleague was all over the place," said Cheektowaga coach Larry Jones. "He had 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 steals and four blocks. Eldridge had eight rebounds and two steals. Those two guys were out catalysts."
Cheektowaga is 7-4 in the division. Iroquois is 8-3 after its 45-42 win at East Aurora. Maryvale is also 7-4 after its win over Depew (6-5), 68-42, behind a 20-point performance by Rashad Law.
South, Amherst win
Williamsville South (11-1) clinched at least a tie for the ECIC II girls championship with a 73-26 victory over Hamburg on Senior Night at South. Tatyjana Scalisi, one of three South seniors, had a season high 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Anna Lorenzo and Haley Domin are the South seniors.
Amherst, 10-1 in the division with a game to play against Starpoint, rolled over visiting Williamsville East, 62-37, after taking 24-3 first-quarter lead. Ella Wanzer scored 13 of her game-high 24 points and Leah Shutts seven of her 11 in the first quarter for the Tigers.
Lancers win at the Mount
Shay Ciezki had 19 points but it was the rebounding of Lauren Nawojski that was the key to St. Mary's of Lancaster's 79-72 win at Mount St. Mary, according to Lancers coach Jason Kline.
"They're a good team," Kline said of the losing Thunder. "It's the first time we've won there since I've been coach. It's a hard place to play."
The 1,000-point Club
Lackawanna's Noah Grabar reached 1,001 career points with a pair of free throws in the fourth quarter of the Steelers' 71-53 loss to Nichols in a nonleague game.
"A very talented player. He gives it all is very selfless and deadly from three-point range," said Lackawanna coach Kevin Shadle of the three-year starter for the Steelers.
Grabar had 27 points in the game. Aidan Horan was high man for Nichols with 26 points.
Others joining the 1,000-point club:
Dorian Plummer of Tapestry scored 31 points and went over 1,000 points in a 72-53 win over Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
Mike Schmidt of Olean reached that plateau in the Huskies’ 70-45 win over Southwestern, their 77th straight home-court victory.
Lois Garlow became the first 1,000-point scorer in Mount St. Mary history in the 79-72 loss to St. Mary’s of Lancaster. She got to 1,000 on a 3-point shot in the first quarter and finished with 31 points, and a 1,024 career total.
Sarah Tully of East Aurora hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter to reach 1,000 in a 57-54 win over Iroquois in ECIC III. Tully finished the game with 1,020, joining Emma Brinker as the Blue Devils’ most recent 1,000 scorers.